Voice search is quickly becoming one of the most prevalent tools used among smartphone owners. The popularity growth is thanks to the advancements made in voice search technology, which have steadily become more complex and intelligent.
As voice search usage increases among consumers, digital marketers need to remain sharp to ensure they’re keeping their content, product and services discoverable by voice search.
While it may seem like a task that is in the realms of the murky unknown, it’s actually not a difficult shift to make your brand more accessible for voice search.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s necessary to understand the concept of voice search and what’s driving its success.
Voice search is a type of speed recognition technology that allows the user to search terms by saying them aloud as opposed to typing them into a search field. The various applications of voice search include:
The interest in voice search has been spurred on by the rise of virtual assistant technology, which are proving to be greatly successful. The top 4 virtual assistants currently in play are:
The evolution of these virtual assistants over the past few years has steadily risen to enrich the user experience and become more ingrained in their everyday life. They assist users with searching for information, organising their schedules and performing a variety of tasks hands-free. But that’s only just the beginning.
The speediness and accuracy of voice search compared to the standard practice of typing is its main appeal; humans can speak much quicker than they can type, meaning information can be obtained instantaneously with voice search. No matter where people are or what they are doing, they can receive instant answers to their queries simply by asking the question aloud to their smartphone.
Virtual assistants are able to help users find information on the web. This can be anything from checking where the nearest coffee shop is, asking for a weather forecast or requesting to view a video of how to peel an onion correctly. Voice search is also used to send text messages, make calls, set alarms and add reminders to the calendar.
It is predicted by 2020, half of all searches will be carried out by voice search. The rapid growth will have a huge effect on SEO practice and will be pivotal in shaping its future. Think about the difference in how people type verses how they speak e.g. to enquire into the weather forecast for a particular location, a person might type “Coolangatta weather”, whereas they would most likely say aloud “What is the weather like in Coolangatta?” This difference means most websites aren’t currently optimised to match the conversational tone of how searchers speak.
Recent studies have also shown that mobile voice search is being used to search for local queries three times more than text searches. This shows consumers are looking for businesses nearby and using localised, niche language to find them.
While it isn’t recommended to optimise your website by stuffing voice search terms or completely overhauling your current SEO strategy, you can begin to make subtle changes and craft your content to prepare for the impact of voice searches.
It will be more important than ever to truly understand what users are searching for. To optimise your content for voice search, more natural language should be incorporated. This should be targeted at the way people speak and the answers they wish to find. Context and user intent is everything.
Conduct research into typical queries asked about your products or services, and use these as a guideline to provide quality, informative answers you know your audience will be searching for. Adding a FAQ page is an effective way to incorporate questions users are asking, and therefore increase your chance of ranking.
To accommodate for people looking for businesses in their area, implementing a strategy with a focus on local SEO strategy in voice search will be highly valuable – particularly for smaller businesses. By using long-tail keyword phrases and specific language, the visibility of local businesses can be improved.
The rise of voice search queries will make for a significant change to the digital marketing landscape. If you need help developing a smart SEO strategy to prepare for the shift, contact us today.